Oakland Pride welcomes to the main stage Grammy® Award-nominated and R&B recording artist retro-soul singer and songwriter Andra Day.
Andra is from San Diego, California, where she performed in church and enrolled at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. After she graduated from the school, she leaned toward contemporary R&B and pop, but was eventually drawn back to the classic jazz and soul vocalists she heard as a youngster. A major break came when a performance of hers was caught by Kai Millard Morris, who subsequently took some of Day's music to husband Stevie Wonder, who in turn connected Day with music industry veteran Adrian Gurvitz.
Aligned with Gurvitzand Jeffrey Evans' Buskin label, Day built up a YouTube following and eventually signed with Warner Bros. After some singles, as well as a version of "Mississippi Goddamn" contributed to Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone, Day released her debut album, Cheers to the Fall (2015), for which she collaborated extensively with the likes of Gurvitz and Raphael Saadiq, among others. "Only Love" alone featured bass from Pino Palladino, drums from Questlove, scratching from DJ Jazzy Jeff, and additional support from the Dap-Kings horn section. In 2016, Day delivered the holiday-themed EP Merry Christmas from Andra Day.
Alex Newell's voice makes the heart swell: it's a clean, undiluted instrument of joy, a voice that soars with the history of classic dance music and the freshness of modern pop. Newell's voice has always radiated warmth and energy, from his days in the church choir and local musicals to his acclaimed stint on Glee, to his music career launched alongside legends like Nile Rodgers and Diane Warren.
Now, it's about to take him even further: the 22-year-old is about to become ubiquitous has a multifaceted, innovative entertainer, with a flair for acting and dancing to match his remarkable vocal ability. In any medium, Alex Newell's voice demands to be heard. Perhaps the most striking thing about it, then, is that Newell has never had proper vocal training. He tried lessons once when he was a nine-year-old in Lynn, Massachusetts -- but it didn't go very well.
-dance routines became an important part of his identity. Newell joined his first production at the age of 13 -- he starred as Snowbell The Cat in a local production of Stuart Little -- and received standing ovations each night.
At that point, Newell had long understood that his life would committed to entertaining others. "Everyone has a fallback, a plan b -- I never had a plan b," he says. "I've always relied on my goal to become a singer. In my mind, it was what I was put on this earth to do."
At 17, Newell landed his first professional stage production -- but that had to be put on hold for an opportunity to join the Glee world. Newell received a Facebook message inviting him to be a contestant on The Glee Project, a reality television series on Oxygen in which young entertainers competed to land a multi-episode arc on the Fox mega-hit Glee. Newell was immediately a standout on the show, and earned a two-episode after placing as a runner-up in season one of The Glee Project. Suddenly, the hopeful young star from a Boston suburb was on a Los Angeles set, standing next to his heroes Chris Colfer and Amber Riley in a Glee episode.
Newell's stint as Wade "Unique" Adams, a male-to-female transgender character in the Glee world, was a groundbreaking piece of television acting, and Newell was eventually promoted from guest star to recurring cast member to main cast member. For a longtime Glee fan like Newell, becoming co-stars with the show's original cast was a surreal experience. "I fell in love with their characters, and then I fell in love with them as people," he says. "They're family members, and I'm stuck with them forever."
After conquering the television world, Newell's focus returned to his first love: music. A deal with Atlantic Records fell into place in late 2013, and opportunities began falling into Newell's lap: he worked with "Rather Be" stars Clean Bandit on their empowering track "Stronger," guested on the Knocks' dazzling dance single "Collect My Love" and issued a magnetic cover of Sigma's "Nobody to Love."
Newell's playful yet potent approach to disco-injected dance-pop is on full display on his upcoming debut EP, which received a little help from some very famous new friends. Funk-guitar god Nile Rodgers (Chic, Daft Punk), songwriting legend Diane Warren (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion) and live production maestro DJ Cassidy all contributed to Newell's first major-label outing, which precedes a debut album and previews the exuberant attitude Newell wants to bestow upon mainstream music.
Don't miss Oakland Pride on Sunday, September 10th!
We're excited to announce ANDRA DAY as this year's Main Stage Headliner. Stay tuned for more and save the date now for Oakland Pride!
Newell was a gifted, rule-breaking talent long before those failed vocal lessons: at the age of two, he strolled onstage at a state fair's talent show, grabbed the microphone and started singing a church hymn called "Victory is Mine." Growing up a few miles north of Boston, Newell had been immersed in the life of a churchgoer, following his father (a deacon) and mother (a choir singer) to church every day and falling in love with the most powerful hymns.
After learning how to harness his vocal stamina for extended choir performances, Newell developed a passion for musical theater; the ability to express himself through song-and-
"I'm just starting my career, and I have these superstars who have been killing it for so long and they're working with little old me," says Newell. "I sing loud and I sing high -- the rest, I just feel lucky!"
Newell is ready to unveil his first pulse-pounding recorded material, but he lives to sing for a live audience, just as he did as a 2-year-old. Whether shining bright at Coachella alongside Clean Bandit or commanding a room on his own, Newell remains a natural entertainer, and is ready to leave larger and larger crowds in awe.
"I'm a performer at heart," he says. "I want to sing, because it's my passion. It's my job. And it's euphoric.”
VIP BACKSTAGE EXPERIENCE
Spend the day at Oakland Pride and be up front and personal with all the talent and the music of the Main Stage!
Packages include: Access to the Oakland Pride VIP Lounge adjacent to the Main Stage with comfortable, tented seating + Premier Main Stage Seating + VIP Express Entry to the Event + Complimentary Beer & Wine all day + Two (2) Complimentary Mixed Drinks or Signature Oakland Pride Cocktails + Access to a Private Cash Bar near the stage + Unlimited Water & Soda + Access to private catered tent with Complimentary Mediterranean Food + Cocktail Servers + Access to free parking backstage (based on availability) + Most of all, every dollar you give is helping Oakland Pride continue to provide the East Bay with a fantastic yearly event!
Songbird Frenchie Davis was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Los Angeles, CA where she started her musical journey performing in plays throughout her school years, eventually deciding to audition for the second season of the groundbreaking FOX show American Idol. Her success on the show launched the Howard University alum's rise to fame rather quickly and she has been progressing ever since. Frenchie moved on to join the Broadway cast of the hit show Rent and played the role of Effie White in Dream Girls, leading to four wonderful years on Broadway, eventually becoming a Grammy nominated artist for her involvement in the revival of Ain't Misbehavin.
Recently, the singing starlet joined Team Christina on NBC's hit show The Voice, becoming one of the Top Four Finalists. Her cover of "When Love Takes Over" landed at #3 on the iTunes Dance Chart, launching her undeniable talent into the national spotlight yet again. Frenchie has now ventured out and established her own label Frenchie Davis Music Group, building a team of people, including her manager Tiffany J. and executive assistant Nyree Neil, to hit the road at high speed.
Frenchie recently finished an Off-Broadway run in the musical, The View Upstairs, a story about the the tragic fire in the New Orelan's gay bar, The Upstairs Lounge.
Latrice was eliminated in Episode 11 of Season 4, during a challenge where she and the other contestants were challenged to create looks and outfits for three different occasions, Daytime Dog Park, Pooch in a Purse and Canine Couture, an outfit inspired by an actual dog. Latrice landed in the bottom two alongside fellow queen Chad Michaels, and lip-synced to Wynonna Judd's song "No One Else on Earth". Latrice was then eliminated.
On the Season 4 reunion show, she was voted "Miss Congeniality" by the viewing audience.
The week before being eliminated, Latrice had also been in the bottom two, but made RPDR history by lip-syncing for her life dressed as an expectant mother to "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman", and doing it by standing entirely in one place and relying only on flawless lip-sync, raw emotional power, and classic old-school drag, without the hysterics and crazy stunts that many other contestants resort to under pressure.
Latrice was brought back on RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race as one of the twelve contestants. She and Manila Luzon were paired in the first episode under the name "Latrila". Depsite an early win in the first challenge, Latrice lipsynced for their life in the second episode and won, sending home Tammie Brown and Nina Flowers, and Manila lip-synced in the third epiosde, but lost to Jujubee. Their departure was extremely emotional, and Manila later said that it was not expected by either her or Latrice.
Elettrodomestico is a 2 piece band made up of songwriter/musicians Jane Wiedlin and Pietro Straccia. Formed in 2016, the band will release their first album, IF YOU’RE A BOY OR A GIRL, in Summer 2017. Jane Wiedlin is best known as guitarist/songwriter of the eighties all-female band The Go-Go’s. Pietro Straccia is a multi-instrumentalist/songwriter who grew up in Detroit and Italy (epiqe, is4i, apside). Their sound has been compared to bands Metric, The Mamas & The Papas, The Flaming Lips, The XX and Phantogram.
Princetonation is an Oakland native who started singing and dancing at a very young age. Performing all over the country, including a sold out Fox Theater Oakland show, Princetonation is still one of the underdogs in the music industry. Embarking on something that's rarely been done on a mainstream scale, he aspires to be an openly gay, African American, urban/pop/r&b singer/entertainer in mainstream media. His songwriting skills are killer catchy and anthemic with self love, positivity and strength. He has two albums (Consummation, Perception), that he released under his own entertainment company (Ocean Oak Entertainment). He has always been the captain of his own ship. He continues to perfect his craft by writing songs on a daily, staying in the studio & rehearsing every weekend with his dancers. Princetonation is the future of music and yearns to be the future for LGBTQ voices all over the world. Princetonation hopes that he can continue to break down barriers for the LGBTQ community to express self love, hope & prosperity.